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 Barn Kit FAQs

Researching Barns and Barn Kits

1) If I don't have a barn plan, where should I look?
2) What is included in Uncle Howard's Barn Kits?
3) What is Uncle Howard's Experience Level?
4) Why does Uncle Howard provide kits for anyone's design?
5) Can you really Quick Quote a barn or barn home from just a photograph, sketch, or plan?
6) What has been done to ensure that my barn has been designed to last more than 100 years?
7) Will Uncle Howard's plans satisfy my building department's requirements?
8) Why is the use of standard lumbers important?
9) What is the difference between engineered plans and "wet stamped" engineered plans?

 

Purchasing a Barn Kit

10) Is it necessary to purchase the accessories from Uncle Howard's?
11) Are gable dormer roofs more expensive than shed dormer roofs?
12) What is the payment schedule for my barn kit?
13) Do you accept credit cards?
14) I want to take advantage of your sale, but I'm not ready to build. What can I do?

 

Accessories

15) Can we add different features?
16) What sizes and styles of barn windows can I get?
17) What sizes and styles of doors do you have?

18) What are castle doors?
19) What about stairways?
20) What are Ride Thru doors?
21) What is a skybridge?

22) Why are Uncle Howard's stall doors, paddock doors, and single carriage doors all 52” wide?
23) Why is Uncle Howard's Hobbit Style Farmer Door 40” wide?
24) Will Uncle Howard's Barn Kits fit any supplier's accessories

Designing a Barn Package

25) What are my choices in design styles?
26) What are my choices in framing styles?
27) How wide can my alleyway be?
28) How wide can my side bays be?

29) How large can my stalls be?
30) How tall can my barn be?

31) What are my choices in roofing?

32) What are my choices in siding?
33) Are Uncle Howard's barn kits and garage kits energy efficient?
34) Does it matter if my barn is energy efficient?
35) Can I change the barn plans I have?
36) Will condensation be a problem?
37) Can my metal building be made to look like an Uncle Howard's barn?

 

Assembling a Barn Kit

38) How long will assembly take?
39) What carpentry experience is needed to assemble an Uncle Howard's barn kit?
40) Can I erect the building myself?
41) Can standard methods be used to assemble Uncle Howard's barn kits?
42) Does Uncle Howard's use SIP Panels?

 

1) If I don't have a barn plan, where should I look?

 

Uncle Howard’s has many off-the-shelf plans available or can work with you to design a barn plan to your specifications. You may also conduct an internet search. Use key words such as: barn plans, barn kits, horse barn plans, garage kits or barn home kits.

 

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2) What is included in Uncle Howard's Barn Kits?

We include:

  • Engineered plans; “wet stamped” when required

  • Free interior floor plan design assistance from our design staff

  • Free plan enhancement of plans you may already have

  • As many plan copies as are required

  • Material list

  • Expert technical support

  • All necessary lumber, hardware, and roofing for the basic shell and loft

  • Any accessories you have ordered

 

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Advantages to purchasing locally:

  • It saves trucking expenses.
  • When changes or add-ons occur, the lumber and roofing can be matched locally.
  • Contribute to local economy.

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3) What is Uncle Howard's experience level?

Howard has more than 30 years experience with barns, barn houses, barn kits, and energy efficient barn home kits.

 

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4) Why does Uncle Howard's provide kits for anyone's design?

 

Uncle Howard’s recognizes that there are thousands of wonderful plans and ideas available. We customize most of our plans for customers anyway. Most plan providers are not able to provide “wet stamped” engineered plans. When engineers modify their plan to bring them to code, there is considerable extra cost. These modifications change the provided stamped plans, lumber, hardware, roofing, builder directions and delivery.

 

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5) Can you really Quick Quote a barn or barn home from just a photo, sketch, or plan?

Yes. Of course, we hope you will send the appropriate dimensions of the building in your photograph or sketch. Even if you don’t send the dimensions, we will estimate the length and width to determine the square footage and loft size. Then we multiply the square footage by the price per square foot for that building type. We count and price out the accessories shown, calculate a Quick Quote total and e-mail it to you. Final quotes are given after you have completed the barn homework worksheet.

 

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6) What has been done to ensure that my barn has been designed to last more than 100 years?

When Howard started designing barns, he looked at hundreds of old houses to see why some lasted and some failed. Long lasting designs, features and methods were then incorporated into Uncle Howard’s barn packages.

 

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7) Will Uncle Howard's plans satisfy my building department's requirements?

 

Yes. First, call the county and make an appointment. I once heard “Don’t come up the courthouse steps, Sonny. There are only two of us here, and we don’t have time for barns.” Or they may set a date to set a date for the appointment. Most building departments are organized and efficient. Get directions to their office. Download Uncle Howard’s Barn Homework page and take it with you to the building department. Enter the site address and tax parcel number before going. Take any paperwork you already have about the site. Take a book to read while you wait. The number one rule is to smile a lot. The second rule is to smile a lot.

 

To provide final plans, Uncle Howard’s will need all information listed on the barn homework page:

  • Tax parcel number
  • Site address
  • Property owner’s name and mailing address
  • Ground snow load
  • Wind load
  • Wind exposure
  • Seismic zone
  • Soil bearing pressure
  • Frost depth
  • Loft loading requirements
  • Number of plan sets required

 

Find out if the building department will need an engineer’s “wet stamp”. Will they need structural calculations and notes? How many copies? What are the setbacks, front, sides and rear, fire access? (Keep smiling.) Decide before going in if you will be plumbing or wiring it now or using a flashlight and garden hose for awhile. Ask how long the review of your property will take. Smile, a lot. Get a copy of site plan requirements. Do they have any site plans and as-builts on file? (An as-built is a record of what they did when they varied from the original plan.) What will the permit cost? Be patient. 99% of barn plans submitted have been accepted and approved while only 1% have been turned down, mostly due to wetlands, endangered species, and right of ways. Good luck!

 

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8) Why is the use of standard lumbers important?

 

Kits are designed to be used with regional materials. If you make changes or additions, you will be able to duplicate the materials locally.

 

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9) What is the difference between engineered plans and "wet stamped" engineered plans?

 

An engineered plan means that the designer has checked the calculations and determined that the engineering of the plans is acceptable. Many counties and cities now require that an engineer licensed in your state “wet stamp” or “seal” your plans. Generic plans won’t work. “Wet stamped” plans must now be site specific, listing your tax parcel number, name, site address, and all other pertinent information (such as wind load and ground snow load).

 

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Purchasing a Barn Kit

10) Is it necessary to purchase the barn accessories from Uncle Howard's?

No. You may purchase them elsewhere or build your own. Ours will probably fit better and be faster to install. If you do decide to use accessories not designed by Uncle Howard’s, please give us the specifications for your special components to ensure compatibility.

 

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11) Are gable dormer roofs more expensive than shed dormer roofs?

No. Each method has its own best applications. The biggest issue is that because of the angles, gable dormers are best served with composition roofing, while metal roofing is great for roofs with shed dormers.

 

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12) What is the payment schedule for my barn kit?

 

Our payment schedule is as follows:

  • $4,900.00 at sign up 
  • Balance at time of shipping (frieght on board) 
  • 2% balance when package has been assembled. (forgiven for barns purchased during sales)

 

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13) Do you accept credit cards?

 

Yes. Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Since these payments are often larger amounts, many customers prefer wire transfers. You may also send cashier’s checks and personal checks. Shipments are made after payments have been processed.

 

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14) I want to take advantage of your sale, but I'm not ready to build. What can I do?

When you have ordered your barn, you may take possession any time within one year at no additional charge.

 

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Accessories

 

15) Can we add different features?

Yes, we customize almost every building.

 

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16) What sizes and styles of barn windows can I get?

We stock most standard sizes. We are happy to make the sizes you need at little or no extra cost, so feel free to contact us with your custom order. Our windows are glazed with high quality, high index plexiglass. If you prefer real glass, use the plexiglass as a pattern for your local glass shop. Remember that codes require tempered glass in and near doors, and near stairs. The staining of window framing and mullions is completed before glazing, a time saving feature the painter will love.

 

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17) What sizes and styles of doors do you have?

All styles and sizes. We offer custom doors at little or no extra cost. All have been designed by Uncle Howard’s to last more than 100 years.

 

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18) What are castle doors?

They are round top barn doors with a castle door effect. Choose in-swing or out-swing.

 

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19) What about stairways?

Uncle Howard’s includes heavy timber stairs with loft barn packages. You have a choice of straight, “L” shaped, “U” shaped with landing, or tight “U” winder. Designed with 4 x 12 timbers, they install rapidly and finish easily. The cost of extra width is nominal. Cedar handrails with cedar drip rails are provided.

 

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20) What are Ride Thru doors?

Extra tall doors that are designed to allow the rider to pass in and out of the barn freely without dismounting. A portion of the loft above the alley is left out for wide open space to the roof peak. A full sized hay truck can pass right through to stock the lofts if you choose.

 

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21) What is a sky bridge?

If you choose the Uncle Howard’s Ride Thru doors feature, installation of an elevated sky bridge will allow you to cross between lofts while maintaining a 14’ clearance. The sky bridge makes room for large equipment and motor homes, as well.

 

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22) Why are Uncle Howard's stall doors, paddock doors, and single carriage doors all 52" wide?

This style of door most often overlaps the building frame. When overlapping 2” on either side of the door the remaining 48” rough opening is still wide enough for both horse and owner to pass through at the same time. 48” doors are a little tight.

 

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23) Why is Uncle Howard's Hobbit Style People Door 40" wide?

This was done so a wheelbarrow can pass through.

 

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24) Will Uncle Howard's barn kits fit any supplier's accessories?

Yes, however we will need their specifications.

 

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Designing a Barn Package

25) What are my choices in design styles?

Uncle Howard’s provides all classic styles including gable, gambrel, monitor, carriage house, shed style, New England style and even Strawbale style. We can also design your custom style. At this time we do not provide kits for arenas or complexes.

 

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26) What are my choices in framing styles?

Uncle Howard’s provides engineered package quotes for most framing styles, including post frame, stick frame, timber frame effect, post and beam, and combinations of these. Uncle Howard’s modern timber frame utilizes modern laminated posts, beams, and braces. These beautiful timbers are very strong with longer span and higher snow load opportunities than mill-cut timbers. They have relatively low cost, install easily, and are pre-sanded for a beautiful wood finish. Supports between beams may be standard mill cut timbers or finish sawn lumber mill. We also offer peeled log posts for interior and exterior beam supports at little or no extra cost.

 

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27) How wide can my alleyway be?

12’ is most common, but can go from 10' to 14’ wide or larger if needed.

 

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28) How wide can the side bays be?

8’ 10' or 12 are most common. They can be designed wider.

 

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29) How large can my stalls be?

Any size you want. We offer shire stalls and shire doors of any size. 12 x 12 and 14 x 14 are most common.

 

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30) How tall can my barn be?

It varies. 20’ to 35’ is common.

 

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31) What are my choices in roofing?

Any roofing may be used on an Uncle Howard’s barn including shingles, shakes, metal and tile. 30 year architectural shingles are the most commonly used. Standing seam or ribbed metal roofing is often used in snowy areas. Uncle Howard’s recommends specifying shed style dormers when using metal roofing. Roofers find it difficult and expensive to flash around the angles and valleys of gable dormers. When using tile roofing there will be an additional cost to support the weight. Extra high snow and wind load barns cost a little more.  Also please remember that Uncle Howard's Barns does NOT provide roofing for your project.

 

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32) What are my choices in siding?

Any siding may be used on an Uncle Howard’s barn. We Quick Quote your building with heavy rough-sawn fir plywood siding. With cedar battens, this siding replicates old style board and batten siding, but is much stronger. Other sidings are quoted and purchased in your locale. All our standard barns are set up with a cedar beltline feature. This feature enables use of any number of skirtings, from stone, brick, lap siding, log siding, stucco, or metal. These 4’ high skirts can be added now or years later at no inconvenience. The cedar beltline feature also enables very fast and very accurate siding installation.

 

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33) Are Uncle Howard's barn kits and garage kits energy efficient?

Yes. Howard has an extensive background with both fiberglass batt insulation and SIPS panel foam core stress skin panels (structurally insulated panel) in Alaska. Because air exchange is a major factor in energy efficiency, properly installed air barrier, vapor barrier, and fiberglass insulation provides better energy efficiency that SIPS panels with poorly installed air and vapor barriers. Too tight houses are unhealthy. After installing a vapor barrier, Uncle Howard’s recommends conducting a blower door test to locate and measure air leakage. If necessary, a heat exchanger warms incoming cold air while providing fresh air to each room of your house.

 

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34) Does it matter if my barn is energy efficient?

Yes and No. Most animals do better in non-heated spaces. In areas of extreme cold, temperature and wind is an important consideration. All of Uncle Howard’s barn kits and barn home kits are designed with air movement in mind. Except in backrooms and club rooms, energy efficiency in most barns is not a factor until you convert it to a barn home. At that time you will be happy to find that your barn can be converted to an energy efficient barn home. Our post frame barn kits will require the addition of 2x6 lumber to complete the conversion from barn or garage to energy efficient home. This additional framing material can be obtained at nominal cost and allows for maximum energy efficiency. Uncle Howard’s Barn Home Kits come with energy efficient framing as part of the package.

 

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35) Can I change the barn plans I have?

Yes. We try our best to get everything right before sending your plan to the engineer. Changes after the engineer receives the plans may result in additional cost.

 

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36) Will condensation be a problem?

Very little condensation shows up in a wood barn. If you ride hard and put your horses away wet, you might see a little condensation beading at the inside peaks at the gable ends. Gable end vents and functional cupolas stop condensation build-up.

 

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37) Can my metal building be made to look like an Uncle Howard's barn?

Yes. We can alter your metal building to look just like a new Uncle Howard’s barn.

 

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Assembling a Barn Kit

 

38) How long will assembly take?

Most barn projects take several weeks. The assembly time is affected by many factors. The design and engineering process takes time. Clearing, leveling, driveways, wells, wetlands, right of ways, and septic design might all affect the permitting time. Weather conditions have a major effect on construction. Builder availability can be a problem. Builder experience is very important. Don’t forget the holidays. Winter working hours are shorter. Crew size and distance traveled, shipping times, and material shortage are factors. Change orders seriously impact completion schedules. Foresight and planning will shorten the length of the project considerably. We have seen barn raisings completed over a weekend.

 

Usually, plan a month for medium projects once you have started excavation. Choosing a good reliable builder goes a long way towards shortening the time. If you have a deadline, make it clear in the beginning to all involved and write it into your agreement. Good planning and patience will help keep everyone’s blood pressure down.

 

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39) What carpentry experience is needed to assemble an Uncle Howard's barn kit?

By following Uncle Howard’s detailed kit plans, any experienced carpenter can assemble an Uncle Howard’s Kit. Some do-it-yourself home owners and handy men breeze through assembly. If you have trouble, consult with Uncle Howard’s or an experienced barn builder.

 

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40) Can I erect the building myself?

Many people do. Previous barn building experience is very helpful. Uncle Howard’s recommends that you have a least one experienced carpenter available on your crew. Safety experience is a must.

 

Insurance: Licensed, insured general contractors are required to have insurance in most states. Many do-it-yourselfers overlook the importance of insurance. Homeowner’s insurance usually will not cover your barn building project. Go to your state government website to find out specific insurance requirements and availability. Licensed contractors are required to be insured. Check your state government to verify contractor registration, liability insurance and worker coverage. Do not hire workers or invite family and friends without insuring them. In some states you can buy a $15.00 one time business license to “Build my own barn, one time, on my own property”. You can hire up to two subcontractors. When your box of information arrives, fill out the quarterly reports, determine the premium insurance rate, mark on final report which comes in the information packet, include your payment, and mail. Each state is different.

 

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41) Can standard methods be used to assemble Uncle Howard's barn kits?

Carpentry experience is very helpful. Uncle Howard’s Barn Kit directions will be a helpful tool. When stumped, call Uncle Howard’s for technical advice. If you are stumped a lot (as in, “What’s a framing square?”) get an experienced carpenter or builder to help.

 

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42) Does Uncle Howard's use SIP Panels?

Uncle Howard has extensive experience with SIP panels. Our recommendation is to use conventional insulation and invest the money you save for your grandchildren's education. Professionally installed conventional insulation and air barrier will provide equal or better performance for ¼ the money. SIP panels are more difficult to install than standard framing and more difficult to wire and plumb.

 

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360-273-7541

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